Indian makes daring escape from ‘abusive’ Saudi employer

By Anjana Sankar

Abu Dhabi, Dec. 28, 2018: An Indian expat who made a daring escape from his employer in Saudi Arabia alleging abuse has received help from the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, officials have confirmed.

Mohammed Issaq, 33, from Kerala ran away from his employer when they were at Bida Zayed in Abu Dhabi two weeks ago to attend camel races, an embassy official told Khaleej Times.

“He said his life was hell. It was a shocking case of abuse and exploitation. He said he was beaten up and not even given food to eat for weeks. He was in a terrible state when we met him,” said the official who dealt with the matter.

Narrating his plight, Issaq told the embassy officials that he was sent to Saudi Arabia two months ago by a recruiting agent. He was promised a job as a helper in a private majlis. He claimed he had paid around 75,000 rupees (3,923 dirham) to the agent.

But little did he know he would be asked to toil in the camel and goat farm of his employer with no salary.

Issaq, who is married and with children who are living in Kerala, had to endure far worse in the coming weeks. “He said he had to work in difficult conditions for long hours. He was starving most of the time. The occasional meal he had were Arabic bread and macaroni, which his employer gave him once in a while,” Nasser Kanhangad, a social worker who helped the man in distress, told Khaleej Times.

“He escaped in the cover of darkness and had walked through the desert for days on end to finally reach a shop in Bida Zayed. As per the instruction of a friend, shopkeepers sent him by bus to Abu Dhabi. When I met him at the embassy, he was looking disheveled. He broke down several times while recounting his harrowing experience,” said Kanhangad.

The social worker said he took him for a haircut and also arranged for fresh pair of clothes from the Islamic Centre in Abu Dhabi before he was handed over to the deportation center.

“He was in tears and kept thanking everyone. The poor man never thought he would see his family again.,” said the social worker.

Indian embassy said they have issued him an out pass and a free ticket to Kerala.

Issaq is currently in Sweihan jail and will be deported by the UAE authorities on Saturday, officials said.

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